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Digital and Film Medical Imaging Technologies Contribute to Decline in Breast Cancer Deaths


American Cancer Society: Annual Mammograms Can Help Save Lives

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 2 -- This year more than 250,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and this deadly disease will claim the lives of more than 40,000 friends, neighbors, mothers and daughters.

These are staggering statistics, but the good news is that U.S. breast cancer death rates are decreasing. According to the American Cancer Society, this decline is largely attributed to the benefits of annual mammograms that enable physicians to detect cancer at an early stage, and improved treatment programs that help patients better manage their cancer.

Both digital and film-based mammography can help identify breast cancer in women who may have no obvious signs of the disease. Historically, mammograms have been conducted using medical x-ray film. Now, powerful new digital imaging technologies are emerging that offer a complementary method for early detection of breast cancer.

The arrival of new digital technology can cause some patients to “wait it out” until their healthcare provider installs digital imaging systems. But the advice from physicians appears to be overwhelming: Do not wait for the latest digital technology. “Digital technologies show great promise in helping to detect breast cancer in certain patients,” said Dr. John M. Lewin, Diversified Radiology of Colorado, a leader in providing technologically advanced radiology imaging. “In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering relaxing guidelines that may make it easier for manufacturers of digital mammography systems to bring new products to market faster.”

Kodak currently markets a digital mammography system for use in Europe, Latin America, Asia and other parts of the world. Kodak has applied to the FDA for approval to market its new system in the United States, and the company is conducting clinical trials of this system in the U.S. and Canada. “Our award winning KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR Mammography Feature is designed to provide U.S. and Canadian healthcare professionals and patients with a digital solution to aid in the fight against breast cancer, once we receive approval from FDA and from Health Canada,” said Dina Vazzana, General Manager, Mammography Solutions, Kodak’s Health Group.

The American Cancer Society continues to recommend the importance of mammograms as a highly effective tool in the detection of breast cancer. Given the benefits and improvements in both digital and film technology, there is more reason now than ever before to encourage mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends to have an annual mammogram.

What is critical is not the technology used, but ensuring that women age 40 and older have regular mammograms as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
About Kodak’s Health Group

Kodak’s Health Group, with 2005 revenues of $2.65 billion, is a world leader in supplying the medical and dental professions with advanced healthcare products, services and information technology solutions. Its broad portfolio includes picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS), healthcare information systems, computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems, laser imagers, mammography and oncology systems, x-ray film systems, dental imaging products, and a range of consulting—as well as repair and maintenance—services.

Kodak is the world’s foremost imaging innovator, providing leading products and services to not only healthcare customers, but to the photographic and graphic communications markets. With sales of $14.3 billion in 2005, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak’s system of digital and traditional image capture products and services to take, print and share their pictures anytime, anywhere; Businesses effectively communicate with customers worldwide using Kodak solutions for prepress, conventional and digital printing and document imaging; and Creative Professionals rely on Kodak technology to uniquely tell their story through moving or still images.

For more information about Kodak’s Health Group, contact your Kodak representative or visit
KODAK is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company.


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